Whoopi Goldberg defends Blazing Saddles against racism claims: 'It hits everybody'

Whoopi Goldberg thinks Twitter is galloping a little too hard over the legacy of Mel Brooks' 1974 satirical western comedy Blazing Saddles.

In the wake of The Office star Mindy Kaling speculating that the beloved but "inappropriate" sitcom wouldn't fly with audiences today, The View panelists held a passionate discussion about how classic comedies would fare in 2022. Goldberg specifically cited social media debate about Blazing Saddles' treatment of racism when hitting back at those who think the movie — about a politician who hires a Black sheriff to oversee a problematic village — goes too far with its satire of racism.

"It deals with racism by coming at it right, straight, out front, making you think and laugh about it, because, listen, it's not just racism, it's all the isms, he hits all the isms," the Oscar-winning actress said. "Blazing Saddles, because it's a great comedy, would still go over today. There are a lot of comedies that are not good, okay? We're just going to say that. That's not one of them. Blazing Saddles is one of the greatest because it hits everybody."

She continued, "If you've never seen Blazing Saddles, you should do yourself a favor, get some popcorn, get a glass of wine, and put it on, because it's magnificent."

Whoopi Goldberg talks about The Office and Blazing Saddles
Whoopi Goldberg talks about The Office and Blazing Saddles

ABC; LMPC via Getty Images Whoopi Goldberg defends 'Blazing Saddles' over racism controversy.

Panelist Sara Haines went on to say that there should be "sacred space for comedians" to work through potentially problematic issues in culture because "laughing is literally the ultimate medicine for life and all that it brings."

A stand-up comedian herself, Joy Behar pointed to Carroll O'Connor's iconic All in the Family character Archie Bunker as an example of a fictional person whose "bigotry" should be viewed in context.

"You take away Archie's bigotry, you don't have a character. That's who he was, and that's the way you're supposed to look at people. If everybody was perfectly wonderful... and appropriate, then you'd never learn about these other people who exist out there," she said. "That's the purpose of art: To expose you to all aspects of human beings. Why would you want to take away the beauty of watching Archie Bunker make a fool of himself?"

Goldberg ended the segment by cautioning critics once again: "Leave my Blazing Saddles alone. Don't make me come for you!"

The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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